Clifford Woolf, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor in Neurology and Neurobiology
F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center
300 Longwood Avenue
Our group is devoted to investigating the way in which the functional, chemical and structural plasticity of neurons contributes both to the normal function and diseases of the nervous system. Our major efforts are devoted to the study of the development of somatosensory circuits, pain and regeneration. Most of our work is concentrated on primary sensory and spinal cord neurons, using a multidisciplinary approach spanning molecular and cell biology, electrophysiology, neuroanatomy, behavior, and genetics. We have established functional and comparative genomic strategies using expression profiling, bioinformatics and gain and loss of function approaches to screen for genes involved in neuronal development, pain and regeneration. The group works closely with many academic groups and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry to identify and validate molecular targets for novel analgesics and axonal growth determinants. Current research includes study of the transcriptional control and post-translational processing of receptors and ion channels that mediate pain hypersensitivity, intracellular signal transduction cascades activated by peripheral inflammation and nerve injury, transcription factors as master regulators of pain, growth and survival programs, cell survival in injured sensory neurons and the contribution of intrinsic growth determinants in establishing regenerative capacity in the peripheral and central nervous system. We are a part of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and are investigating how sensory neurons can be reprogrammed from patient fibroblasts to study pain mechanism and screen for analgesic efficacy. We also collaborate with the Bean lab to target drugs into specific neurons using ion channels as a drug delivery system. Our lab has a dynamic mix of basic and translational research.
For a complete listing of Clifford Woolf's publications on PubMed, click here.